Feminist author says marriage is key to social stability

Mar 8, 2023

A leading feminist author has said that after years of living in a lesbian commune she only found true peace and equality when she settled down, married a man and became a mother.

Writing in her new book Feminism Against Progress, Mary Harrington describes how by the end of her 20s she had found that “being determinedly counter-cultural” by “run[ning] away from commitment and constraint” was “taking a great deal of emotional and intellectual effort, for questionable returns”.

She also discovered that the “supposedly egalitarian and sexually liberated all-lesbian community” she lived in was “in fact hierarchical and riddled with competition”.

Falling in love with a man, getting married and becoming a mother completely transformed her outlook, as she discovered a new peace and equality in the commitment and cooperation of building a home and family together.

Her mistake, she says, had been to think that men and women didn’t need each other and were basically the same. But in fact “the sexes are not interchangeable” and “certain basic facts about us will remain true”.

“Married family units are essential to creating stability”, she writes, adding that, “in today’s uncertain climate, a more stable society is an urgent feminist issue — especially if you’re among the great majority who want kids.” Marriage is “the simplest, most well-tested route to more widespread social stability”.

At C4M we agree entirely. The research consistently shows that marriage is the best context for women, men and children to thrive. Feminists who think they are doing women a favour by jettisoning men, marriage and commitment are gravely mistaken. A pushback from writers with women’s true interests at heart is long overdue.